The world‘s finest diving

school of hammerhead head on opt schmulik blumSCIENTIFIC EXPEDITIONS TO COCOS ISLAND
three unique trips

May & November 2023 … August 2024

Majestic Cocos Island in Costa Rica is offers hammerhead sharks galore. A place of pure diving pleasure but also of intense scientific value. Are you an ocean enthusiast interested in the science behind sharks? A diver with a heart for conservation? Then don’t miss out on these three spectacular trips!


Very often diving destinations are awarded with accolades, and in the case of Cocos Island every single one of them is true. The marine life surrounding this mysterious island in the Pacific, is truly spectacular and unique. 

Cocos represents a myth for divers. Everyone who has heard of Cocos wants to go there, while everyone who has been there before wants to go back. It’s a stellar and unbreakable reputation not a lot of other dive destinations can compete with. 

During this 10-night cruise, 7 days of diving are planned at Cocos Island. You can expect sharing the water with schooling hammerheads, silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, sand tiger sharks, and yes: even a tiger or two. 


But let’s not forget Cocos is so much more than swirling sharks. You’ll enjoy the many turtles and countless brightly coloured fish, the eels & lobsters & octopus and many other critters residing in the hard coral reefs. There are marble rays, manta & eagle rays floating around, and who doesn’t love encountering a whale shark in the deep? There are lots of schools of pelagic fish and bait balls passing through these waters as well. The diversity is really just mind-blowing.

If you’re an experienced diver who loves adventure, Cocos is not to be missed. Its beauty is not limited to underwater either. You’ll have an opportunity to access the island to explore the verdant beauty and impressive waterfalls as a nice change of scenery from the underwater world. 


This expedition offers an excellent opportunity for shark conservation enthusiasts and early career scientists who want to become acquainted with shark research field work in one of the sharkiest places in the world.

During the dives, researchers will tag sharks underwater using a pole spear to attach an acoustic transmitter. The pole spear anchors a dart under the shark’s skin, right under the dorsal fin. The tag is tethered to the dart by a steel cable, and dangles as the shark tows it. We may also change the tip of the pole spear and instead of a dart we use a tissue sampler, which works like a cookie cutter, punching a hole in the shark’s skin to obtain a sample the size of a bean. There will be focus on hammerhead sharks, galapagos sharks, blacktip sharks, silvertip sharks, tiger sharks, whale sharks, manta rays and eagle rays.

There will also be active shark fishing in order to implant acoustic tags surgically. This activity is done at 5:00 am and 5:00 pm, for two hours.

Any turtles encountered will be caught underwater and brought to the deck of the liveaboard, where they will be measured, weighed, photo-catalogued, tissue sampled, and tagged with external Inconel flipper tags.

This is truly a once in a lifetime way to learn the latest science and the policy changes needed for efficient shark conservation in the Eastern Tropical Pacific while diving the world’s most famous dive sites.


May 23 – June 2, 2023
August 27 – September 6, 2024

Sea Hunter was built as a dive support boat for the oil industry & has the power, strength & stability necessary for the long crossings to Cocos Island but she combines these qualities with a refined interior.  For many diver, Sea Hunter is the gold standard amongst liveaboards.  She’s known for her great crew and fabulous dive guides who will take you to all the best dive sites, gearing their choices around the dictates of the weather and the currents. And when you’re not diving, you’ll find the services onboard equal the top-notch dive guiding, plus the food will never disappoint.  Each suite on Sea Hunter has a distinctly themed room, with hand-painted artwork by Carlos Hiller. Her 10 comfortable cabins provide all the comfort and amenities a discerning diver desires.


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 November 11 – 21, 2023

Scuba divers love the spacious Aggressor liveaboards, their tasty cuisine & the crew’s mission to cater to everyone’s needs and this Cocos vessel is no exception.  Loads of leisure space and two suites in addition to her other roomy, comfortable cagins.  You’ll dive into the best of the best here:  whale sharks, schooling hammerhead sharks, white-tip sharks, tuna, manta rays, turtles and giant frogfish !  Cocos Island National Park was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1997. Weather permitting, Okeanos Aggressor II guests are shuttled ashore to hike through the jungles of Cocos and swim in her many waterfalls.


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{slider Special Scientific Expeditons May 23 – June 2, 2023 & August 27 – September 6, 2024 aboard Sea Hunter …. and November 11 – 21, 2023 aboard Okeanos Aggressor II.  Click to view the itinerary details for the scientific expeditions as well as diving highlights, what’s included, what’s extra … and the information you need for getting there and away|dest|closed}  10-NIGHT SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 1 – meet in front of host hotel. Transfer to Puntarenas for boarding and departure for Cocos Island.

Day 2-3 – arrive at Cocos Island, diving begins.

Day 3-9 – diving days

Day 10 – travel back to Puntarenas.

Day 11 – check out at 7 am and transfer to San Jose Airport or host hotels.


Alcyone: A 600-foot long submerged mountain, the top being roughly 75 feet below the surface. Schooling hammerheads, mantas and schooling fish, possible sailfish or marlin.

Big Dos Amigos:  45-foot-high arch and 60-foot pinnacle off the southeast side where you should see loads of hammerheads. Look for rainbow runners, yellowtail snapper, bigeye jacks and lobster.

Bird Island, Chatham Bay:  A variety of marine life including frog fish, lobsters, morays, rays, white tip sharks, hammerheads and a cleaning station.

Dirty Rock:  A large island with schools of marble rays and hammerheads.

Lone Stone:  Schooling marble rays and mobula rays.

Manuelita: The northeast corner has a sheer wall and lots of white tips, marble rays and schools of Creoles.

Ubing Rock, Wafer Bay:  This 300-foot rock begins at 20 feet and drops to a 110-foot sandy bottom. The southeast slope attracts schooling hammerheads.


This trip leaves from Puntarenas, Costa Rica …. a 3-hour ride from San Jose.  Costa Rica has two international airports. For optimum convenience, we recommend that you fly directly to San José rather than the more distant Liberia International Airport. 


All yacht departures are from Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  Guests need to arrive the day before the charter start date and overnight in San Jose, Costa Rica. You may choose to stay at one of the recommended host hotels (Holiday Inn Escazu or Holiday Inn Express Forum) or at another hotel of your choice.  Please note that pick-ups for transer to the boat are only from these two hotels.

You will be met by an Aggressor representative on the day of departure at a pre-set time for the group transfer.  Boarding depends on the tide schedule. Immediately after boarding the yacht departs for its crossing to Cocos Island. The crossing takes roughly 36 hours and you can expect to arrive at the island around dawn on Day 3. After a full seven days of diving, the Okeanos Aggressor II returns back to the dock in Puntarenas and you will be taken back to San Jose.

If you’d like to add on a few days in Costa Rica’s outstanding rainforest parks, we’ll be happy to help you with that. 


RATES: Expedition dates and cost per person:

May 23 – June 2, 2023
US$6600 + US$550 (National Park fee) = US$7,150 per person for double occupancy

  • Add $500 if interested in a suite

November 11 -21, 2023
US$6000 + US$550 (National Park fee) = US$6,550 per person for double occupancy

  • Add $500 if interested in a suite

Aug. 27 – Sep. 6, 2024

  • Suite  $7,175 + 555 (National Park Entrance fee) = $7730 per person for double occupancy

  • Cabin  $6,525 + 555 (National Park Entrance fee) = $7080per person for double occupancy

Rate includes: 3 meals a day. Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, beer, snacks, nitrox refills and Dive Master. In the case of Sea Hunter bookings, an surcharge of $200 for fuel compensation may occur on behalf of the company, but this would be announced at least two weeks prior to the expedition and is subject to the global market.

Does not include tips nor snacks during San José – Puntarenas bus transfer.{/sliders}

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